THE BORN DEMOCRATS

The Malays are born democrats. No matter how much some of them try to deny this truth, it’s a fact testified by history. The ability to give and take is an inherent part of their nature. Democracy is very much embedded in the Malays.

The Malay values his culture and traditions above everything else. If needed, he would do whatever it takes to uphold them to a great extent. Any infractions upon his culture and traditions are an insult to his race. He is steeped in them and they form a part of his psyche. His religion is something that he respects and practises to the best of his ability. But the Malay values his culture and traditions even more than his religion as they form part of his democratic being.

Having lived amongst the Malays in most of my youth, I am still amazed at their level of tolerance for others who practise different cultures and religions. Isn’t that democracy? Isn’t tolerance one of the ingredients found in a democracy? Tolerance for another’s way of life is the hallmark of the Malay. The Malay doesn’t bulldoze his beliefs and opinions unto others as and when he pleases. It is not in his nature to do so. “Live and let live.” is his motto.

Had the Malays been the total opposite, the other races would have experienced difficult and trying times living in Malaysia. From time to time, issues involving all races did crop up, but they were dealt with immediately in the spirit of co-operation, understanding and tolerance. Nothing ostentatious. They were just practical solutions to remedy practical problems in a multi-racial and multi-religious society. Weren’t these practical problems overcome if not for the democratic being and outlook of the Malays? It is their democratic being and outlook on life that differentiates them from the rest.

As born democrats, they will see to it that their way of life continues. Their young being beneficiaries, it becomes incumbent upon them to preserve such a way of life at all costs since tolerance is the vocabulary of their being. Tolerance is synonymous with the Malays. There is no such thing as an intolerant Malay.

If there are such intolerant Malays, they don’t represent the entire Malay race. The majority still hold tolerant views. It is the majority that their politicians find difficult to penetrate. Emotional rhetoric and outbursts by their politicians are paid scant regard. That takes a tremendous toll on their politicians as the democratic being and outlook of the Malay remain unflinching. Therefore, it is a useless war waged by their politicians.

The future of Malaysia lies in the hands of the democratic Malays. Putting their political and ideological differences aside, the Malays can forge a unity difficult to break as the democratic nature of the Malays sets Nusantara apart from the rest of the world.

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